Family and Community Medicine Residency (State College, PA)

Program Overview

The Penn State Health Family and Community Medicine Residency at Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, PA, is a three-year, ACGME-accredited program that admits six residents per year.

Program Highlights

Program Details

The Penn State Health Family and Community Medicine Residency at Mount Nittany Medical Center gives you the chance to make a difference in the lives of patients. Our faculty, staff and community physicians provide ample opportunities for continuing medical education to ensure optimal patient care and professional development.

Resident involvement in inpatient, outpatient and community activities is not only essential for the program’s growth but also sets you up for future success. Residents will have the opportunity to spend time in key specialties and subspecialties as well as participate in educational programs, prevention events and health screenings.

By partnering with Mount Nittany Health, we have combined the resources of central Pennsylvania’s most trusted healthcare provider with the excellence of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. We are thrilled to expand the ability to meet the growing need for family medicine physicians and provide superior care to Centre County residents.

Our goal is to prepare family physicians who are committed to the total health care of the individual and family. With only six slots per year, residents receive more individualized attention, a hallmark of the University Park Regional Campus experience.

As the only residency program in State College, our residents benefit from the academic support and resources of Penn State Health, Mount Nittany Health and Penn State University. By integrating our standards of excellence with an innovative curriculum, we are preparing family physicians to practice quality, full-spectrum medicine.

As part of the first department of Family and Community Medicine in an academic health center in the United States, we are proud to provide a complete, sensitive, and compassionate training opportunity for family physicians. Our faculty and staff are committed to excellence and continuous improvement of education and patient care.

We encourage you to explore the innovative and challenging curriculum we have designed to prepare family physicians to practice effectively and thoughtfully.

Our Team

Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide the best possible Family Medicine graduate medical educational experience by teaching and demonstrating how to provide compassionate, coordinated, high-quality, evidence-based, cost-effective care in a safe learning environment that openly seeks to learn from and reduce medical errors while modeling lifelong learning.

Core Values

  • Educate to be the best.
  • Treat everyone with love and respect.
  • Foster true teamwork through servant-leadership and collaboration.
  • Promote passion for curiosity, continuous quality improvement and innovation.
  • Have integrity, honesty and transparency.
  • Promote health and well-being throughout the program.

Overall Educational Goals

  • Train fully competent and compassionate family physicians that are prepared to provide high-quality, coordinated, comprehensive and continuous primary care to families and the community.
  • Teach and demonstrate evidence-based, cost-effective care in a safe learning environment that openly seeks to learn from and reduce medical errors.
  • Train physicians to work in the context of a collaborative team.
  • Develop the physician into a lifelong learner and educator.
  • Train physicians to assume leadership roles in local communities, Pennsylvania and the nation.
  • Provide the people of central Pennsylvania compassionate, quality care regardless of their resources.

Curriculum

Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum

Research has shown that educational structure influences learner performance and well-being. Many residencies structure their schedule in traditional four- to eight-week block rotations. Some challenges of this model include reduced continuity with faculty and patients, interruptions to residents’ skill development and a reduction in patient-centered care. 

To address these challenges, our program takes a modified LIC approach by structuring rotations into one- to two-week experiences that repeat throughout the year. Residents receive a total of four to eight weeks in each core rotation just like the traditional approach.

Current literature maintains that, in the following areas, LIC approaches have the following impacts.

Faculty/Resident Teaching Relationships

  • Facilitate the development of mentor relationships through continuity of feedback
  • Improve the faculty and learners precepting experience
  • Aid faculty’s ability to appropriately entrust levels of resident responsibility for patient care, coordination and education of other learners

Resident/Patient Clinical Relationships

  • Increase resident/patient continuity in an inpatient setting
  • Increase awareness of the way social context impacts patient care
  • Amplify medical learners patient-centeredness
  • Improve residents understanding of the patient’s illness experience

Residents’ Intrapersonal Attributes and Professionalism

  • Maintain acquisition and retention of knowledge
  • Develop knowledge of personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Increase awareness of how a health care system functions
  • Provide a sense of preparation for practice in an ambulatory setting
  • Stem ethical erosion of learners
  • Improve understanding of health care coordination and the role of Family Medicine providers in the health care system

The LIC model is a validated educational structure that we believe in strongly at the Regional Campus. Residents will have the opportunity to learn new skills, receive feedback, and then revisit the rotation several weeks later with a refreshed perspective and skill set to build on previous learning. Most importantly, the LIC approach mirrors the wide spectrum of practice that our residents will encounter in their careers as family physicians.

References

  1. Mitchell M, Srinivasan M, West D, et al. Factors affecting resident performance: Development of a theoretical model and a focused literature review. Acad Med. 2005;80:376-389.
  2. Hudson JN, Knight PJ, Weston KM. Patient perceptions of innovative longitudinal integrated clerkships based in regional, rural and remote primary care: A qualitative study. BMC Fam Pract. 2012;13:72.
  3. Hirsh D, Gaufberg E, Ogur B, et al. Educational Outcomes of the Harvard Medical School-Cambridge Integrated Clerkship: A Way Forward for Medical Education. Acad. Med. 2012;87:643-650.
  4. Mihalynuk T, Bates J, Page G, Fraser J. Student learning experiences in a longitudinal clerkship programme. Med Ed. 2008;42:729-732
  5. Hauer KE, Hirsh D, Ma I, et al. The role of role: learning in longitudinal integrated and traditional block clerkships. Medical Education. 2012;46:698-710.
  6. Hirsh DA, Holmboe ES, ten Cate O. Time to Trust: Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships and Entrustable Professional Activities. Academic Medicine. 2014;89:201-204.

Year-By-Year Curriculum

Please Note: Curriculum is subject to change as we arrange the optimum educational experiences for residents. Individual resident schedules will vary.

Below is a sample schedule for Year 1 through Year 3. In each year, additional longitudinal and elective experiences are built-in to enhance learning experiences and showcase the various specialties available in the region.

Year 1

First-year curriculum is designed to provide interns with a diverse foundational base of Family Medicine topics to progressively build upon both in the inpatient and outpatient settings. First-year residents spend one half day per week seeing continuity patients in the Penn State Health – Park Avenue practice site.

Anticipated core rotations include:

  • Cardiology — 4 weeks
  • Emergency Medicine — 4 weeks
  • Family Medicine Inpatient — 8 weeks
  • General Surgery — 4 weeks
  • Obstetrics — 8 weeks
  • Pediatrics — 8 weeks

Year 2

Second-year residents spend an average of four half-days per week in their continuity clinic and one half-day per month seeing continuity long-term care patients. Second-year curriculum is structured to continue to advance residents’ competency and autonomy.

Anticipated core rotations include:

  • Emergency Medicine — 4 weeks
  • Gynecology — 4 weeks
  • Hospitalist — 8 weeks
  • ICU — 8 weeks
  • Musculoskeletal — 4 weeks
  • Night Float — 4 weeks
  • Pediatrics — 4 weeks

Year 3

In the third and final year, residents spend time concentrating on areas of interest and preparing for graduation into independent practice. Third-year residents spend an average of five half-days per week in their continuity clinic and one half-day per month seeing continuity long-term care patients.

Anticipated core rotations include:

  • Emergency Medicine — 4 weeks
  • Family Medicine Inpatient-Senior — 8 weeks
  • Musculoskeletal — 4 weeks
  • Night Float — 4 weeks

Electives

Elective options will be based on academic year and consent of the Program Director and/or Coordinator. Options include:

    • Critical Care
    • Nephrology
    • Dermatology
    • Ophthalmology
    • Ears-Nose-Throat
    • Rehab
    • Endocrinology
    • Rheumatology
    • Global Health
    • Sports Medicine
    • Hematology/Oncology
    • Women’s Health

“Stew”

“Stew” is a one-week combination of half-day experiences residents have various times throughout the year. Examples of educational topics during “Stew” include:

      • Community Medicine
      • Psychiatry
      • Dermatology
      • Pulmonology
      • Ears-Nose-Throat
      • Ophthalmology
      • Home Visits
      • Women’s Health

Please Note: Curriculum is subject to change as we arrange the optimum educational experiences for residents. Individual resident schedules will vary.

To Apply

The residency program utilizes the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) and Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) for applicant selection.

Interested applicants must apply through Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). In addition to the Penn State Health Graduate Medical Education Eligibility and Selection of Residents Policy, individuals must have:

  • Graduated from medical school within the last three years
  • Passed Step 1 and 2 of the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) with at least a score of 210 and with no more than one failed attempt
  • Three letters of recommendation, including at least one from a family physician

Notes for Non-U.S. Graduates

  • Minimum of three months of clinical training in the U.S. or Canada, or clinical experience elsewhere which clearly demonstrates an understanding and interest in primary care and family medicine in particular, is required.
  • The program accepts only J-1 visas.

Interview Process

Eligible applicants will be selected on the basis of medical school performance, preparedness, ability, communication skills, motivation and integrity.

Applications are reviewed via ERAS beginning in September. Interviews are by invitation only and are scheduled October through January. Please see below for a sample interview day itinerary. The program is happy to pay for one night of hotel accommodations at a local hotel, although interviewees are responsible for providing their own transportation to State College.

Sample Interview Day Itinerary

  • 7 a.m. Overview with the program coordinator
  • 7:15 a.m. Breakfast with Penn State Health faculty and staff
  • 8 a.m. Program director’s welcome
  • 8:45 a.m. Tour of practice site and Mount Nittany Medical Center
  • 9:30 a.m. Interview 1
  • 10 a.m. Interview 2
  • 10:30 a.m. Break
  • 10:45 a.m. Interview 3
  • 11:15 a.m. Interview 4
  • 11:45 a.m. Lunch with Mount Nittany Health faculty and staff
  • 1 p.m. Penn State Creamery with residents
  • 2 p.m. Questions and wrap-up with faculty
  • 2:30 p.m. Closing

Schedules are subject to change.

For details, questions and/or comments, email us at statecollegefcmresidency@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Faculty and Staff

Current Residents

Contact Us

Mailing Address

Penn State Health Family and Community Medicine Residency at Mount Nittany Medical Center
1850 E. Park Ave.
Suite 207
State College, PA 16803

Life in State College, PA (“Happy Valley”)

World-class residency, university town setting!

Advance your career and enhance your quality of life in State College, Pennsylvania: home of Penn State University, University Park Regional Campus of Penn State College of Medicine, and Mount Nittany Health. The Centre County region is a unique area where cosmopolitan cultural influences blend with an affordable cost of living and relaxed country pace — all against a backdrop of lush, rural landscapes. It’s a place where both careers and families thrive.

Maybe that is what attracts a diverse spectrum of people from around the world: medical experts and college professors, artists and grade school teachers, business executives and students.

Whether you are seeking collaboration with accomplished colleagues, inspiration from world-class entertainment, the charm and security of historic neighborhoods, or the thrill of Big Ten sports events, you’ll find all that and more in the place we call home.

Imagine yourself at the center of an internationally recognized university town, working in a collegial atmosphere where patient care, careers and quality of life are all advancing. The region offers something for everyone, whether you prefer the energetic, youthful vibe of downtown State College or the historic architecture and relaxed pace of nearby Bellefonte.

The moderate cost of living and affordable home prices give you the option of several housing choices, from a new home in a new neighborhood to a historic Victorian home or an easy-care condominium. And the excellent public schools and low crime rate make the area perfect for raising a family. Life is pretty good when you work in “Happy Valley.”

Centre County Statistics

  • Population: 160,580
  • Median household income: $50,295
  • Median home value: $193,500
  • Median rent: $872
  • Average commute to work: 20 minutes

Source: United States Census Bureau (2010–2015)

To learn more about the community, please visit the following websites:

Program Benefits